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eikones public lecture by NOMIS Fellow, Philipp Ekardt

October 30, 2018 @ 18:00 - 20:00

Abendvortrag mit Philipp Ekardt (NOMIS Fellow): Assemblages and Compositions
Remodeling the Tableaux Vivants in Goethe’s Wahlverwandtschaften and Lady Hamilton’s Attitudes.

In recent decades scholars from a range of disciplines including performance, literary, media and visual studies as well as history of art have turned their attention to two ephemeral manifestations of pictoriality that enjoyed widespread popularity among Goethe and his contemporaries: the social pastime of the tableaux vivants– one subject of Goethe’s 1809 novel Die Wahlverwandtschaften, and Lady Emma Hamilton’s art of ‘attitudes’ – a theatrical posing practice that gained her fame across Europe as well as mentions in the poet’s Italienische Reise. Our contemporary understanding of both manifestations of this peculiarly transient type of pictoriality is structured by a logic of gestural arrest – the logic of the pose as an interruption of movement – according to which the freezing of kinesis is the condition for the emergences of these images which bear both the traces of said fall into stasis and a peculiar affective and aesthetic salience. In my talk I turn to Goethe’s texts, Hamilton’s art and their medial and discursive contexts in order to demonstrate that we need to remodel our understanding of the logics behind tableaux and attitudes. Rather than adhering to a logic of interruption, I will argue, these images are thought of as results of compositional practices, and as emerging from processes of material (re)assemblages.

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